Jared Kushner may have pulled the strings on the grisly killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Democratic congressman suggests.
Speaking to CNN about the disappearance of the Saudi dissident, Congressman Joaquin Castro said he believes Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top White House adviser may have been working with the Saudi government behind the scenes to target Khashoggi. As the Daily Beast noted, Castro made the claim without citing any evidence.
“Let me get to the point that I think is most disturbing right now. The reporting that Jared Kushner may have, with U.S. intelligence, delivered a hit list, an enemies list, to the crown prince, to MBS, in Saudi Arabia, and that the prince then may have acted on that, and one of the people that he took action against was Mr. Khashoggi,” Castro claimed.
Donald Trump’s administration has already generated plenty of criticism for the response — or lack thereof — to the journalist’s murder. Intelligence officials say Khashoggi was murdered by a team of Saudi agents after he entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this month. The team reportedly dismembered Khashoggi while he was still alive and then murdered him. Khashoggi’s body has not yet been found.
Donald Trump has been hesitant to criticize the Saudi government, saying they are presumed innocent and adding that he would not want to jeopardize an arms deal. As the New York Times reported, Kushner has urged Donald Trump to stand by Prince Mohammed, believing the controversy will soon blow over.
“Mr. Kushner has argued that the outrage over Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible killing will pass, just as it did after other Saudi errors like the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon and the killing of a busload of children in Yemen by a Saudi airstrike,” the report noted in a passage that was later removed. The newer version claimed that Kushner “argued that the crown prince can survive the outrage just as he has weathered past criticism.”
Another report from the Guardian claims a former British MI6 intelligence officer believes it was Prince Mohammed who ordered the killing of Khashoggi. Sir John Sawers said be believes the Crown Prince was responsible and that denials from the Saudi government are “blatant fiction.”
Joaquin Castro also fell under some criticism for his claim that Jared Kushner may have ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, with many calling the unsubstantiated accusation dangerous.